Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Clone Wars

It officially began for me with the midnight madness sale at Toys R Us last Friday. At 12:01am, the new Star Wars toys featuring characters and vehicles from the new Clone Wars movie and television series went on sale and I was there in line with the entire family.

Not all of the stores were having the sale so we had to drive about 30 miles to our closest participating store. Any thoughts of how crazy 'I' was to do this were put to rest when we pulled into the parking lot and saw at least 150 people of all ages waiting patiently for the doors to open. Amidst the fans and the collectors were a couple dozen representative of the 501st who helped with things like crowd control and making sure that the smaller children could reach the items that were placed too high for them.

Being near the last in line of that many people meant that the pickings were slim for us, but my oldest boy (and the biggest fan) was able to scoop up a few of the new clone troopers, which are his favorite ones anyway. At least the store was smart enough to realize that there would probably be a lot of hording and limited the amount of items that one could purchase to 12. That made it a little more balanced unless some scoundrels came in packs to take advantage of the system. The only figure that was on the want list that we didn't get was the new Yoda, but I had a backup plan in mind.

There was a Walmart near our home that wasn't advertising the toys going on sale but it was open 24 hours. So with the kids asleep in the car and my wife with them, I went into Walmart and checked out the toy aisle to find 3 skids of toys all still in their cases. After asking a manager to open them for me I found, not only Yoda, but a few other clone troopers and commanders to surprise the kids with when they awoke the next day.

The older boy especially has been playing with the toys nonstop and earlier this week a 4 minute clip of the movie was released on the net. Look here:


I've been fortunate enough to see and read a lot of the behind the scenes stuff in regards to the Clone Wars due to working on the new Star Wars Encyclopedia. Buy here:

Excited as I was with what I had seen already, watching a full scene like that pulled it all together and got me even more hyped than I had already been. It's an amazing clip and if the rest of the film and series match that quality then Star Wars fans are going to be quite happy.

I'm not sure how aware the general public is about another Star Wars film coming out, or that it will be leading into a television series this Fall but I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be caught off guard by how great this thing is.

I know my family can't wait until August 15th.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Swimming in the DC Pool

Thankfully, the freelance assignments seem to keep coming.

While I'm still knee deep in working on the Star Wars Encyclopedia for Random House/Del Rey and The Life of Reilly, I've just taken on a very cool assignment with DC Comics and their licensing/marketing department.

Even more than the Reilly or Star Wars projects, the work with DC will allow me to stretch my writing muscles even more since it's exclusively writing. It will also give me the opportunity to familiarize myself even more with the various characters and worlds of the DC Universe. The first character that I'm going to be writing about is one of my favorite villains in comics, so that was a pleasant surprise. When it comes down to it, I get to participate in the comic company that's home to Batman and Superman so how can I not be excited about that?

The Star Wars Encyclopedia is almost finished (at least my involvement in it). It really is just a massive collection (3 book set at over 1200 pages on sale 11/18/08) that will contain more information than any Star Wars fan could possibly hope for.

As comic con season winds down after this week's San Diego con, the creative types will be free once again to partake in interviews and I'll be able to offer more information on how The Life of Reilly is doing. I've been able to do a lot of grunt work behind the scenes as I wait for the interviews to start up again so I think I'm still on track with my original publishing estimates.

I am just thrilled to be able to say that I've now done freelance for the two biggest comic companies with Marvel and DC and the biggest publishing company with Random House. I've waited years to have opportunities like this. Now I just have to make sure I don't blow it.